About the time that Mariology was beginning to develop in the Church,

there was a segment of Roman Catholic theology that regarded Mary as

the "second Eve," securing through her obedience what Eve had lost

through her disobedience. It was thought that Mary had an integral

part in God's redemptive plan and that had she not been willing to

play her part, God's plan of salvation would have been thwarted.

This excessive attributing of redemptive actualities to Mary remained

dormant in Roman Catholicism, while mariolatry was developing with

teaching concerning her Immaculate Conception, sinlessness, perpetual

virginity and Assumption.

On March 22, 1918, Pope Benedict XV said, <169>She suffered so much

for us, almost to the point of dying with Her suffering and dying

Son. Therefore we may rightfully say that she has, with Christ,

redeemed the human race.<170>


In Vatican II, the issue was avoided. However, LUMEN GENTIUM

(11/21/64) says, "The Father of mercies willed the Incarnation should

be preceded by assent on the part of the pre-destined mother, so that

just as a woman had a share in bringing about death, so also a woman

should contribute to life."

This thought of Mary as Co-Redemptress has been revived, with many

positively declaring that she had a role in Christ's redemptive work

and calling her "Mediatress of all Grace." Conservatives are urging a

papal decree to this effect, but progressives are afraid that such a

proclamation would harm ecumenical relations. So far, the pope has

not defined Mary's role in redemption. We are told, however, that all

Grace comes to men only through Mary.


Scripture makes it plain that Jesus Christ alone is responsible for

our salvation (Acts 4:12). Mary was a willing vessel, but salvation

is of Christ the Lord!

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